Marketing 101

All you need to know.

At its most basic marketing consists of five areas. In this marketing 101 overview we will consider the following aspects of marketing.

  • Brand – The key messages, benefits, supporting facts and associated graphic design that tells your company story. This is written once.
  • Content – The specific stories that you tell about your company. They always include some or all of the brand elements.
  • Creative – Ways you can package your stories.
  • Channel – How you distribute your stories.
  • Results – How you measure your efforts.

See the full SlideShare presentation at the top of the right hand column of this page.


ZoC man head shot

ZoC Man

The key message worksheet is the starting point for building your brand story. This document walks you through development of your  key messages, supporting facts, benefits and other fundamentals of marketing. You can download the worksheet by subscribing to my weekly emails. See the offer in the right sidebar below the Marketing 101 presentation. 

Complement your brand with with graphic design. Using the key message document as the inspirational guide, create the brand look for your business including logo, color palette, website design, font, etc. ZoC Man is a drawn representation of what you can find at ZoC marketing: a trustworthy professional.

A logo can be as simple as your company name in an interesting font with a very simple icon. Here are a couple of logos for billion dollar companies that have very simple icons that are primarily text. Remember that a logo means nothing by itself. It draws its meaning from the experiences that people have with your company.



Content = The stories about your company. These can include company history, work examples, employee bios, product descriptions, testimonials, or anything else that shares info of potential interest about your company.

All content includes elements of the brand messages. The content or ‘stories’ that are told about your company should all include elements of the key messages document and other branding elements like your logo.

Content marketing is a hot term currently but it is nothing more than consistently adding interesting content. Content Marketing can be compared to growing an orchard: Each tree is a message. You need lots of trees to get a good harvest. New trees need to be planted consistently. All trees grow from the same key messages.

Marketing should build trust. You build trust by providing value to your customers. Content marketing is providing information that is of interest to your target audience. A main goal of each message should be to build trust with your customers which is an effective path to increasing sales.

Interact with customers like they are friends: give a lot; request something in return seldom. For every time you ask your friend to help you with something there will be 10 to 20 times or more when you do not ask for anything. You simple want to be their friend. That being said, we have all known people who wanted something from us every time they called. After a while we stopped taking their calls. The same is true for a business. If a company is always asking you to buy their products and services then you grow tired of listening to them. On the other hand, if you get value from them: self help guides that enable you to solve a problem without their help, entertaining information about their industry, or any other message that is not asking for something for you then you begin to trust that company.

Curating information is an easy way to build trust. Consolidate useful information for your customers by finding articles, posts, videos, podcasts, etc. that would be of interest to your customers and share it with them. Write a short introduction to the information on your site and add the link(s) so your customers can go directly to the source. You will be building trust off of someone else’s work. Plus that someone will be happy you are sending them more traffic.


Package your content for broader distribution. It is common practice that a company will first communicate their message via a website announcement/post. But this is just the first step. With each message you create consider  how the message could be repackaged to reach a broader audience. Here are some common creative options.

• Video
• Audio (podcasts)
• Brochure
• Presentation
• Photographs
• Trade Shows
• Training Guides
• Press Releases
• Magazine Article



This is the distribution of your messages. This can be the easiest step. Once you have the message packaged and ready to go the distribution can be set up to run automatically. Even if you do it manually it is as easy as adding a post to your Linked In, Face Book, Twitter, etc. account and attaching the link to the content you want to share.

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There is much more to channel but in this 101 presentation I wanted to focus on the most important thing: content. Follow my posts at to learn more about how to leverage channels that are right for you.


Tracking your results helps you steer your business. It can help to reveal strengths and weaknesses of your marketing programs which will allow you to cut back the weakness and reinforce what is strong.


Brand – Take an afternoon to develop your key messages worksheet.

Content – Once per week develop a new message.

Creative – Do the creative that you enjoy; hire experts for the others.

Channel – Start by using your favorite channels and periodically add new ones.

Results – Review your results monthly and make adjustments.



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